by Xinhua Writer Li Li
BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- To mark the 69th anniversary of its defeat in the World War II, the Japanese government has, as usual, duly advised its citizens to observe one minute of silence in honor of the deceased.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, however, has a separate agenda. Despite the cancellation of a planned visit, he sent an offering Friday to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine, which honors top war criminals, through his aide Kouichi Hagiuda.
Such a show of "compromise and sincerity," as some put it, is hardly acceptable, particularly given the recent barrage of remarks and moves by Japan's rightist politicians which lay bare their unrepentant attitude toward the WWII.
One who forgets and denies history does not deserve a future. It has become a matter of urgency for the current Japanese leaders to truly reflect upon the lessons of history so as to avert a risky future.
During the WWII, a militaristic Japan ruthlessly trampled over its Asian neighbors and slaughtered tens of millions of people there. Yet, Japan was also considered a victim of the war as countless innocent civilians in the country were killed by U.S. nuclear retaliation.
The unconditional surrender of Japan in 1945 put an end to the bloody war in the Asia-Pacific and ushered in a new era of peace and development for the whole region, including Japan, which has since kept its extreme right-wing forces in check and tugged itself out of the quagmire of war.
Remarkably, Japan has created an enduring economic miracle which saw it once grow into the world's second largest economy.
It is reasonable to say that Japan's post-war success has testified the fact that peace, not war, is the cornerstone for development.
Sadly, a new generation of rightists in the country have chosen to ignore that. With Prime Minister Abe at the helm, Japan, bent on shaking off its war-renouncing pacifist reins, has once again embarked on a precarious path and blatantly challenged the post-war international order of peace.
By doing this, Japan is sowing the seed of another war.
Notably, the Abe administration has sugarcoated its military ambitions with rhetoric touting "peace" and "security," while former Japanese militaristic rulers had used similar tactic to disguise their unquenchable thirst for aggression.
What has also sounded the alarm is that Japan has been deliberately flexing its muscles against China. From the purchase and naming farce of China's islands, to the constant hyping up of China's "military buildup," Japan's increasingly provocative actions are not only tearing the two nations further apart, but also putting the hard-won peace and security in the whole region at stake.
Some might say history always repeats itself, yet it is unwise for Japan to reckon that China, along with other WWII victims as well as those peace-loving people on its own land, would stand idle in face of the brewing threats of war.
It is highly advisable for those who did wrong in the past to stop playing with fire and avoid leading their country further down the dangerous road.